Thailand unveils strategy for sustainable tourism development hinh anh 1Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha (Photo: 
Bangkok (VNA) – The Thai government has unveiled a new strategy dubbed “SMILE” in order to ensure sustainable development of the local tourism industry.

The strategy announced by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha early this week at the opening ceremony of the Thailand Tourism Congress 2022 held in Phuket for the first time.

The government wants the tourism industry to contribute 30 percent of Thailand’s GDP by 2030, up from 20 percent pre-COVID-19. Meanwhile the Tourism Authority of Thailand forecasts 7-10 million foreign tourists will arrive this year, after quarantine measures were lifted last month.

“SMILE” stands for: S – Sustainability in all aspects; M – Manpower: Boosting skills of tourism workforce to international standard; I – Inclusive economy: Ensuring that all sectors of economy are included in the tourism industry; L – Localisation: Promoting the uniqueness of communities as tourism attractions; and E – Ecosystems: Promoting eco-tourism and the local environment.

According to the PM, the SMILE strategy will help improve the country’s tourism industry sustainably and ensure that we adapt to the changing world in all aspects. It was also a stepping stone towards Thailand’s goal of becoming a medical tourism destination, which would help boost the economy.

The tourism industry contributed 3 trillion baht to the country’s economy in 2019, accounting for 18 percent of the GDP./.